Install shower receptor with two sides open

crl_December 5, 2012

As someone kindly pointed out in my shower an vs bathtub thread, the kohler cast iron shower bases are meant to be installed with walls on three sides.

At this point I am leaning strongly towards a shower pan. But I would like to have it open on two sides. The bathroom is small and I'd rather have the visual of more space. I do not want glass walls or shower doors. I want a shower curtain.

I would really prefer cast iron as that has been the easiest material for me to keep clean in the bathroom. Ease of cleaning is a very high priority for me because I am lazy!

So, I am wondering if it is possible to finish one of the edges that is meant to have a wall someway. I guess essentially building a very, very, very short (and narrow?) pony wall and tiling over it.

It seems like this should be possible, though perhaps it would be functionally awkward? Would people trip on that edge of the shower as it would be unexpected? Or other problems I am not foreseeing?

And what do you think it would look like? Would it look unfinished or awkward?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler shower pan

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Instead of building a full-height wall you can indeed build a half-wall or a pony wall. Or you could build a really, really, really short pony wall, otherwise known as a "curb".

Shower curtains are helped by a little bit of "vertical curb" at the shower floor, that will prevent the bottom edge of the curtain from flopping out onto the bathroom side of the curb.

You could easily carry your curb around two edges of the Kohler pan to make it look uniform.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:08AM
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You could also use the 48" shower pan and then add a bench to one side, as shown in this thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: bench next to shower pan

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Thank you both! A "curb". That's a useful word! Thank you for supplying the vocabulary. And for the idea of carrying it around to the other open side as well.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:21PM
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crl - Here's a picture of my Kohler pan with a half wall installed on the left side. I guess you could just envision that as a really, really, short wall for your installation.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Two curbs would create a trip/safety hazard situation. If you do a pony wall, it needs to be at least waist height to provide visual cues as to where it is located and to provide a physical barrier as well. Otherwise, in an common situation where you close your eyes to rinse your shampoo, you can become disoriented easily and trip over the curb.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:36AM
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Wouldn't that happen with the one open side? Just trying to understand how two open sides would be different from one open side in that regard?


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Because the open side will be behind you rather than to your side. Stepping back, and misjudging it, would be a real possibility and hazard.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Hmm. We had one of those j-shaped tubs in our first house which was this configuration, although bathtub height, of course. Definitely not waist high. Never had any issues and they are pretty common in older homes, though no longer widely available for purchase. Different because people expect it?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:01PM
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